Past and Future Monthly Events

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Past Events:

November 2020 – The Story Behind the Statue

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Hagley historian Laura MacKelcan shares her research on the background of the statue of Admiral Samuel Dupont marking the entrance to Rockford Park since 1920.

February 2020 –  What to Do About 1,500 Abandoned “Historic” Homes?

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Bill Freeborn of the Wilmington Land Bank talked about what his group is doing to try and find a solution to one of the city’s toughest challenges.

January 2020 — Wilmington Women and the Push for the 19th Amendment in Delaware
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You may have heard about the big-name national figures who led the Suffragette movement. Janet Lindenmuth gave an excellent presentation on those who led the movement in the Wilmington area. 

December 2019 – The Story of Two Howard Teachers Challenging the Planned Showing of a Pro-KKK movie in Wilmington

Local historian and member of the Howard High School Alumni board Shane Cannon shared his research on a Hollywood-worthy story from 1915 Wilmington.

November 2019 – A Conversation with the author of “Eye Witness Delaware”

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Life-long Wilmingtonian John Riley shared several stories from his new memoir “Delaware Eye Witness.”

October 2019  -The Local Billionaire Who Killed Prohibition in Delaware

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Kevin McGonegal shared his research on how the momentum to end Prohibition in Delaware finally reached a tipping point where the State’s richest person fully mobilized against.  But PS Dupont’s motivation may surprise you.

September 2019 – Thriving as a Business in a “Rough” Neighborhood

Simon Cranny, the founder of a leading printing company spoke about why he happily decided to move his company to North East Wilmington,  supposedly a “bad” neighborhood.

June 2019 – A Showing of The Lost Motion Pictures of Brandywine Spring

Raymond Harrington and Tom Gears created a fantastic 28 minute documentary on the earliest footage ever taken in Delaware and joined us for a Q&A afterwards.

May 2019 –  Remembering Five City Residents  On the Occasion of Memorial Day

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To generate new interest in the City’s Memorial Day Parade, Nathan Field spoke about  city residents who lost their lives fighting in the US military in foreign wars.

April 2019 –  Promoting Entrepreneurship in Wilmington

Born and raised in West Virginia, Ryan Venderlic spent time in the Peace Corps teaching Kenyans how to create businesses, a role he plays today with Junior Achievement in Wilmington.   He led a discussion on what it would take to promote more entrepreneurship in Wilmington.

March 2019 – A Conversation On Defining Wilmington’s Value Proposition

Let’s face it.  Cities are Wilmington are competing with 50 other cities to try and attract a limited number of new businesses.  Ben Rapkin  led a group discussion on what attendees think is the City’s value proposition.

February 2019 – When the Feds Broke Up Delaware’s Largest Company

Today companies like Amazon attract attention from politicians for their outsized influence, Suzie Dixon gave a presentation on the landmark 1911 case where the US government forced the breakup of the Dupont Company.

January 2019 –  Transforming the Riverfront

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It is not an exaggeration that fairly recently the Wilmington Riverfront was a “Dump.” Jim Tevebaugh, the founder of one of Delaware lead architectural firms, gave a photo presentation of his team’s work to restore two key Riverfront landmarks.

December 2018 –   50 Years of I95 Through Wilmington

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Cool Springs resident Sarah Lester shared her thoughts on what the I95 project did to the City and spoke about her  group’s efforts to see a “cap” put over I95 to reconnect the neighborhoods.

November 2018 –   Lessons learned by the founding principal of Wilmington Charter School

Ron Russo shared his thoughts on what he learned during his long career as principal of several Wilmington high schools and what might be applied in the future to improving the city’s schools.

October 2018 –   A Deep Dive into a Notorious Delaware lawsuit (with a surprise last minute guest)

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In no doubt the most unexpectedly surprising WHS event, recent UD grad and law school applicant Jacob Jeiffa planned to give a presentation on a landmark case involving Delaware corporate law, a fiercely contested legal battle between the two owners of $600 million company Transperfect. Jacob gave his talk and then led a long and fascinating discussion with Phil one of the two key players at the center of the suit, who came down from New York City for the event.  Read an article about it here.

September 2018 – US Presidents and Visits to Wilmington

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Most US Presidents have visited Wilmington in one form or another.  Nathan Field shared some of these stories at the September event.

July 2018 – Trains and Trainspotting in Wilmington

Local train enthusiast and city resident Jason Lombardo gave a 20 minute presentation on his research on how Wilmington became a transportation hub, changes in public transport and what it used to be like to be a commuter in our city.

June 2018 – How company towns that lose their company can rebound

Wilmington isn’t the only city that has lost its main “anchor.”  Ben Rapkin looked at how several cities around the country have successfully reinvented themselves and what lessons would apply here.

May 2018 – The evolution of economic development in Wilmington

Local historian, commercial real estate agent, and former Chief of Staff to Wilmington’s Mayor,  Kevin McGonegal spoke about how the role of the City government in economic development has changed – for better or worse  over the last 50 years.

April 2018 – Was Crime worse or better in “Old Wilmington?”

In the inaugural event, Nathan Field shared his research on a long-forgotten box filled with detailed crime statistics from 1890 to 1940 Wilmington that he found in the archives at the Delaware History Society and tried to answer the question: is crime worse today or better than it was a century ago?